Recordings show insecure North Korean despot begging actor and director he had kidnapped from the South to help improve useless movie industry
Kim Jong-il was exasperated by his compatriots lack of drive and creativity, and bizarrely fulminated against excessive ideology and dogma in North Korean films, secret recordings aired in a new documentary reveal.
Kim, who ruled the hermit state from 1994-2011, feared his country was being held back by lack of contact with the outside world, which was making his people too self-satisfied for their own good, the documentary tapes show.
The Lovers and the Despot tells the story of how the tapes were smuggled out of the country by two South Koreans, director Shin Sang-ok and his wife, the actor Choi Eun-hee, who were kidnapped by Kim in 1978 in an attempt to bolster the film industry.
The film-mad dictator, who died in 2011, urged the couple to show the people of North Korea a good example through your creative films, admitting that his countrys efforts had been useless.